Attracting Millennials to the Education Profession

Millennials are a huge potential talent pool that can solve our teacher shortage issue. However, we must know how to attract them. Here are some points to think about when planning how to attract these new, energetic teachers.

Millennials want a job where they can learn and grow with plenty of career development. Multiple studies show that Millennials are continual learners and care about not only how they can do their job better, but what an employer can offer them to become better at their job, for their current work and further on into their career.

A 2011 survey by Opinium Research looked at Millennials’ priorities when considering a job. Their personal learning and development was named the top priority, followed by flexible working hours in pursuit of work/life balance, followed then by cash bonuses.

The more personalized your professional development program is, the more interested Millennials will be in your school system. Show prospective candidates how they will be individually supported and how you care about their success.

Millennials are looking for relationships and collaboration at work, not the traditional workplace hierarchy.Millennials are known for being “connected,” which usually refers to their use of cellphones, laptops, tablets, and other technology. Through that technology, today’s young people are connected to hundreds, even thousands, of friends and acquaintances. Much of this generation is in nearly constant contact through social media and likely grew up with an emphasis on teamwork and group projects at school. Now, they’re ready to use those skills at work.

Don Tapscott points out in his book on Millennials, Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World, A Millennial’s goal isn’t a corner office with people working under them, but to achieve “something with other people, experiencing power through other people.”

Highlighting how teachers in your system collaborate will be very attractive to potential Millennial candidates.Show prospective candidates how your system is structured to provide collaboration time.

Millennials want work with purpose. Millennials are more inclined to jobs that they feel make a difference in the world, rather than those that bring the big bucks. Education can easily present itself as an ideal career for Millennials.

Roberta Matuson notes in a Forbes article on attracting Millennials to the workplace that Millennials not only want to work for a place doing good in the world, but want to know their involved in that mission personally. Matuson writes that “today’s workers want to be viewed as a business partner and not just merely an employee who is easily replaceable.”

Millennials will be attracted to your system if they believe they will be able to make a significant difference with students, the school and the community. Show prospective candidates how employees in your system are making a significant difference in your system and community.

Millennials blur the line between “life” and “work.” In other words, they want work to be fun. Beyond just seeking work-life balance, Millennials are integrating work and life outside of work, wanting to make work fun. “That doesn’t mean they want to play foosball all day long,” wrote Tapscott in Grown Up Digital. “Instead, they want the work itself to be enjoyable.”

Although the typical K-12 classroom environment might not be able to mirror the flexibility and laid back environment enjoyed in some Millennial-dominated offices, school is filled with kids- and kids are fun!

Focus on bringing more kid-centered fun into school. Show prospective candidates how teachers at your school play and learn with the kids. Serious work can happen in the midst of laughter and fun.